Friday, 24 May 2013

Scratch Programming at Home

Dear Parent / Guardian,

Your child has been learning to program a computer at school using an easy to learn and free application called Scratch.

Many children have asked if they can use Scratch at home, so below we explain what it is, and how to download it.

What is Scratch? 
Scratch is a downloadable application for your PC or Mac, that makes it easy for you to program your own interactive stories, games and animations, through colourful drag-and-drop blocks. It comes with some background images, characters and sounds ready to use, but you can also add your own images and sounds, making it even more fun.

Is it safe?
The software comes from trusted and respected education institute, MIT, and is safe to download.

Will my child have to sign up for anything?
Your child doesn't need to sign up for anything, but there is a free online moderated community that your child can join where they can share their projects with others. There is a huge benefit in sharing projects and receiving and giving constructive comments. For further information see http://scratch.mit.edu

Is it free? Where can my child download it?
Yes, completely free.
There are two versions of Scratch, version 1.4 which is the one we are using in school: http://scratch.mit.edu/scratch_1.4/
And the new version 2, which runs in your web browser with no download required: http://scratch.mit.edu/

I've got it, where do I learn more? 

Scratch has a good help system built in, just go to the Help menu and explore from there.

This book is well suited to children learning Scratch: Super Scratch Programming Adventure!

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Thanks to Andrew Johns for most of the content of this letter: http://andrewjohns.net/blog/2012/12/a-letter-to-parents-regarding-scratch/

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